The military on Saturday announced that it has court-martialed two retired officers, Major (retired) Adil Farooq Raja and Captain (Retired) Haider Raza Mehdi, on charges of espionage and inciting sedition. The two were sentenced to lengthy prison terms.
Raja has questioned the legality of the court martial.
In a news release issued on Saturday by the military's media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the two retired officers of the Pakistan Army were convicted and sentenced through Field General Court Martial (FGCM) under the Pakistan Army Act, 1952. It added that the two former soldiers were convicted by a "court of competent jurisdiction".
They were charged with inciting sedition amongst army personnel from discharge their duties and violating the provisions of the Official Secrets Act, 1923, related to espionage and acts "prejudicial to the safety and interest of the State."
The court sentenced Major Raja and Capt Mehdi on October 7 and October 9, 2023, respectively.
Major Raja was sentenced to serve 14 years of rigorous imprisonment in Pakistan, and Capt Mehdi was sentenced to 12 years of rigorous imprisonment in Pakistan.
Following the verdict, both soldiers were stripped of their ranks on November 21, 2023.
Is it legal?
Reacting to the verdict, Raja, on his social media account, questioned the legality of the courts.
"Under what law? What court martial?" he asked.
He added that according to the Constitution, the army could not court-martial him without reinstating him.
کس قانون کے تحت کون سا کورٹ مارشل؟— Adil Raja (@soldierspeaks) November 25, 2023
تب ہی تو ملک کو بنانا ریپبلک بنا دیا ہے ان جرنیلوں نے۔ آئین پاکستان کے تحت فوج تو مجھے ری انسٹیٹ کئے بغیر ٹرائل کر ہی نہیں سکتی، اور میری پینشن اور مراعات ختم کرنے کے بعد فوج مجھے ری انسٹیٹ کرنے کا حق بھی کھوچکی۔
حلوہ سمجھ رکھا ہے کیاعاصم منیر؟… pic.twitter.com/gc8JeqPZty
"After halting my pension and allowances, the army has lost its right toreinstatee me," he stated.